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  1. #51
    IncGamers Member jmervyn's Avatar
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    Re: Humanity's progress

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevinator View Post
    Boo! this is a head in the clouds thread. Distopian futures are okay. Blaming current politics is not.
    We're headed towards the Fiscal Cliff and Mayan 2012 "apocalypse", yet given the election results you don't consider that has to do with someone's head being... well, somewhere?
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevinator View Post
    i try not to think about what that's supposed to represent.
    Stick to the issues. Obama's administration authorized harvesting, I doubt very much that will be dialed back. Given that you don't even accept Babs Boxer's claims, can it be terribly long before we start considering such issues? Slippery slope remains slippery.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevinator View Post
    well, people are looking into making computer networks that mimic the brain now.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0410181302.htm
    eventually we'll make one that's big enough to have the power our brains do. it's just a matter of time.
    Nonononono. Imprinting, not capacity. It's yet another Progressive belief in what a wonderful textbook calls the "Uniform Plastic Person" concept. The underlying belief is that people are not just interchangeable, but that they can be treated no differently than cogs in a machine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevinator View Post
    Eugenics is really when you're trying to guide human evolution / natural selection. I'm sure it'll happen again.
    I don't see how that's different from targeting abortion on grounds of race/sex/genetic predisposition. GATTACA is today.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevinator View Post
    You are pre-supposing that the god fearing folk are the reason we have a benevolent society.
    No, you keep trying to stuff that lie in my mouth no matter how often I spit it back in your face. My position, as it always has been, is that religion is the primary tool used by society to impart morality. Morality can be imparted without religion, but doing so is uniformly unsuccessful in the large scale. You can be a shyte and infer that's because the St00pids have to have the big Sky Dude threatening them to make them moral, but the fact remains.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevinator View Post
    i would argue that the initial diversity of religious thought, not the fact that it was religious is why we value freedom of thought here. If all the original settlers had been of the same sect, we wouldn't have that same tradition of allowing free thinking, for anyone. Not just atheists.
    Disagree. You characterize the possibility as Salem, MA writ large, with the supposedly resultant meltdown. The Founders, however, were primarily Enlightenment believers. It may be splitting hairs to characterize Enlightenment Christianity as a religion, but while they took account of Islam and Judaism they were from a uniform religious background: Western European Christianity
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevinator View Post
    So to say they are parasites is incorrect. benefactors maybe, but parasites implies that the religious have a more right to a country of freethought than the freethinkers. that's just silly. (it's also a clever pun by me. Yeah!)
    The term is insulting, but apropos. However, the claim infers that they are leeching off the society rather than participating, which <IS> invalid. The meaning (that they could not exist outside of a benevolent host society) remains valid.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevinator View Post
    If it makes you feel better they do grow out of it.
    Did you ever <read> A Clockwork Orange? That's pretty much the point of the book; the main character matures despite, rather than because of, his mental conditioning.

    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    I almost forgot: Creationists and believers of intelligent design, leave me alone, you are insulting my intellect!
    Beg pardon, since when does the scientific tradition of the past several millenia suddenly become an insult to your intellect? When Dawkins entertains the concept of space-alien genesis (kind of like the Scientologists) rather than allowing for the potential of a Deity, who's the insulting one?

  2. #52
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    Re: Humanity's progress

    The problem there is people have tacked on "omni" to a number of words attributed to their deity (omnipresent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, etc). They went overboard, making their deity philosophically impossible. Aliens at least must obey the physical laws, so it is less farfetched.

    Depends on how one defines god. Some believe that god actually is an alien (albeit, a godlike one far beyond "Q" in Star Trek TNG), the kind that set things in motion and leave us alone like plants.

  3. #53
    Europe Trade Moderator krischan's Avatar
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    Re: Humanity's progress

    Quote Originally Posted by jmervyn View Post
    Beg pardon, since when does the scientific tradition of the past several millenia suddenly become an insult to your intellect? When Dawkins entertains the concept of space-alien genesis (kind of like the Scientologists) rather than allowing for the potential of a Deity, who's the insulting one?
    As long as I'm adjucating people according to the context of the times they lived in, it's all fine. I talked about people from nowadays, so my adjucation is accurate IMO. That doesn't mean that I deny the existence of god BTW.

    Newton's gravitational theory was pretty close to the observations which could be made those days. 2000 years ago, estimations of the curvature of the earth being 0 were rather accurate as well, being wrong by just 8cm for 1km of surface distance.

    Regarding things which cannot be measured, any theory is theoretically as accurate as the other, although common sense may have an influence on what we accept. 2000 years ago there were a lot of things which couldn't be measured, so you could make up whatever you want and have something which has just as many evidence about its accuracy as everything else. It was plausible for people of those times that an almighty being needed exactly 6 days to create the universe. These days I cannot take those serious who really regard it as the most plausible theory.

    However, perhaps I'm wrong with a lot of things for no plausible reason. In that case, my intellect could be worth being insulted.
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  4. #54
    IncGamers Member jmervyn's Avatar
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    Re: Humanity's progress

    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    As long as I'm adjucating people according to the context of the times they lived in, it's all fine. I talked about people from nowadays, so my adjucation is accurate IMO.
    I continue to disagree. "Intelligent Design" simply means including the concept of Deity as foundational to creation, as opposed to the denial of an involvement of Deity. I personally believe the former is more likely, given the Atheist inability to explain a greater likelihood for creation ex nihilo.
    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    Newton's gravitational theory was pretty close to the observations which could be made those days. 2000 years ago, estimations of the curvature of the earth being 0 were rather accurate as well, being wrong by just 8cm for 1km of surface distance.
    In similar fashion, I believe the Genesis story is scientifically accurate to a stunning degree, considering that it is a stone-age analysis of the Creation transferred through oral tradition over millenia.
    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    It was plausible for people of those times that an almighty being needed exactly 6 days to create the universe. These days I cannot take those serious who really regard it as the most plausible theory.
    This misunderstanding is your fault, not mine. You refer to creationism and ID, but the brush you're painting with is that of "Young Earth Theory", which has no better credibility than Flat Earth theory does. Now, those on the Socialist Left fap themselves bloody over the Gallup polling which indicates that Americans and particularly Republicans supposedly profess this belief, but that's got a heck of a lot to do with the way the question is asked:

    You can see that choice 1 is that of guided evolution, which includes Intelligent Design (my vote). Choice 2 is the atheist-iest option. Choice 3 is what is called "Young Earth", but it isn't anything of the kind, and I think I recall the third question in a poll being the one most likely to be instinctually seen as a best choice. If one is scientifically literate but not aware of evolution's timelines nor history, does the arbitrary "10,000 years or so" present a trick question? If not, how long ago were humans 'created'? No fair using Google.

    *********************

    Now, since I already feel like I've been walking through the monkey cage this morning, I really don't want this thread to get into the same tired old rut. There was a new study that showed up on RedEye last night/this morning... well yes, the only TV I watch is RedEye, unless my wife demands I watch some crap about Swedish gays house-hunting in Kenya. At least she's no longer watching "Ice Road Truckers".

    Anyroad, stop trying to distract me - RedEye had a good guffaw about a new study that indicates humanity's intelligence is decreasing. Here's the same information from the HuffPo.

  5. #55
    Europe Trade Moderator krischan's Avatar
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    Re: Humanity's progress

    I threw intelligent design into the same basket with creationism on purpose, I just wanted to tease you a bit, just like you do whan saying "nazis = socialists" to me .

    None of the two fulfills the criteria to be accepted as a scientific theory and I mainly oppose people who are seriously trying that. Beyond being silly, I think that it contradicts one of the core issues of Christianity: It's about faith, not about proof. Looking for a proof looks like having no faith, so a believer of a religios issue like that should not strive for the consent of scientists. It's like a sheep asking a wolf what's the best food.

    This is exclusively a matter of belief, not not of proving anything. My fingers itch a bit about speculating why so many people believe in intelligent design, as well as about shaking my head about creationism. I'm behind "humans evolved, with no interference of a god" because we don't need a god to explain the existence of humans, but we might need something beyond our grasp in order to explain why we exist at all, be aware of ourselves, why there is something what we couldn't even describe accurately by calling it a soul. All I believe in is that there might be something which set up things in order to let the universe spring into existence, but nothing beyond that. I also have moral and ethical beliefs, but I don't think as well that they are god-given. They have been vastly different in the past and they are still much different in other places. That doesn't necessarily mean that I tolerate them, however.
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  6. #56
    IncGamers Member jmervyn's Avatar
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    Re: Humanity's progress

    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    I threw intelligent design into the same basket with creationism on purpose, I just wanted to tease you a bit, just like you do whan saying "nazis = socialists" to me .
    Duh. Okay, you got me.
    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    None of the two fulfills the criteria to be accepted as a scientific theory and I mainly oppose people who are seriously trying that. Beyond being silly, I think that it contradicts one of the core issues of Christianity: It's about faith, not about proof. Looking for a proof looks like having no faith, so a believer of a religios issue like that should not strive for the consent of scientists. It's like a sheep asking a wolf what's the best food.
    Well, again, I don't want this thread to drive into the ditch, but I still disagree - though at least I understand where you are coming from. See, most of modern science was derived from Christians trying to decipher the workings of God's universe, so I don't discount the religious motivation as you do.

    Now, what about that study that shows human intelligence is decreasing?

  7. #57
    Europe Trade Moderator krischan's Avatar
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    Re: Humanity's progress

    I don't discount a religious motivation, but I'm sure that scientists usually believe that it's better not to explain things with god if they can be explained by scientific theories. That can go as fer that a few don't believe in god as all, although many would say that they have a concept like "god = all of the world"... either because they really are of that opinion (scientists are often compulsively honest) or to be left alone with all that.

    I think we don't need god to explain the existance of humans, but also read about what I wrote about what makes up our soul.

    Regarding the study, I already thought about it as well when reading a few recent OTF topics.

    There's a lower risk of dying before being finished with producing children these days, even in third world countries. For humans, intelligence was more important for survival in the past than nowadays. That sets up pressure of selection. Regarding mutations, almost all mutations are bad. If the pressure for being intelligent is lower than before, it will need more generations to sort out the bad mutation (or promote a good one). With other words, the typical amount of bad mutations is higher than before, making us dumber on everage.

    However, that's just considering our potential. Intelligence depends a lot on education, so we certainly have a vast advantage over the Germans, Celts, Slavs etc. and even most of the Romans and Greeks of the ancient world.
    Last edited by krischan; 15-11-2012 at 15:56. Reason: Added 1st paragraph, changed a bit of the rest
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  8. #58
    IncGamers Member jmervyn's Avatar
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    Re: Humanity's progress

    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    (scientists are often compulsively honest)
    Go on, pull the other one. I'm simply saying that the "inquisitive" nature of science was a direct result of the Christian Enlightenment and the legacy of Greece. You don't find the same thought processes in Asian, African, MesoAmerican, and particularly Middle Eastern tradition. Hopefully this is our last visit to the caveat, but it's probably worth considering because it has to do with both SCIENCE!! and progress.
    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    Regarding the study, I already thought about it as well when reading a few recent OTF topics.
    Sarcasm, kris? I thought Germans don't do sarcasm...
    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    That sets up pressure of selection.
    I'm thinking of it a bit differently. If intelligence, nebulous and subjective a concept as I know that actually is, is a secondary and less admirable characteristic than being "cool" or "sexy", then aren't we simply changing emphasis on breeding quality? Intelligence is hardly a requisite for wealth, either, which is the other instinctual motivator, so really there's very little to encourage "IQ" as a desirable trait.

    In reality, I personally believe this study is a crock and a half. It completely ignores one of Mark Steyn's core concerns, that of demographics (he mentions Germany; you'll love it). The reality is that the groups tested in the study are not of the growing populations, but of the drastically shrinking; if we're being "outbred" by those in third-world countries, what does it matter that we have some really smart folk? Their "genes" would be diluted beyond relevance.
    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    Regarding mutations, almost all mutations are bad. If the pressure for being intelligent is lower than before, it will need more generations to sort out the bad mutation (or promote a good one). With other words, the typical amount of bad mutations is higher than before, making us dumber on everage.
    I'm not sold on canon Darwinism, obviously, and mutation is one of the claims I find untenable. Perhaps if we suffer a nuclear holocaust, I'll find it more feasible, but of course that would condemn the claimed criteria of "intelligence" almost as much as reelecting Obama did.
    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    However, that's just considering our potential. Intelligence depends a lot on education, so we certainly have a vast advantage over the Germans, Celts, Slavs etc. and even most of the Romans and Greeks of the ancient world.
    Intelligence is a social construct for discriminatory purposes, pure & simple. There are a number of facets, but it remains a value judgement. The study didn't address "cunning", either.

  9. #59
    Europe Trade Moderator krischan's Avatar
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    Re: Humanity's progress

    Darwinism is nothing but applying statistics on matters which involve random changes to the subject, like mutations, so when refusing that it happens, it's like refusing mathematics. You might question the extent of influence and deny that it's the only way how species develop, however. I'm not saying that there is no god who guides things to a certain extent, but I for myself think that if there's a god, he doesn't have to do that.

    You can be a faithful Christian together with accepting Darwinism. Anyway, when discussing darwinism on a scientific base, there's no scientific theory yet which explains the development of life in a better fashion and scientists don't accept reasons like "the bible says so".

    I for myself hold the words of Jesus in high esteem, I just cannot accept making it a matter of being in some church. As with any power structures led by humans, they tend to be used as means to exert power in the first place while their agenda is bent around these desires. I distrust churches, although I have less of it in some churches than I usually have in many other power structures, like parties, governments, corporations etc.
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  10. #60
    IncGamers Member jmervyn's Avatar
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    Re: Humanity's progress

    Quote Originally Posted by krischan View Post
    You can be a faithful Christian together with accepting Darwinism. Anyway, when discussing darwinism on a scientific base, there's no scientific theory yet which explains the development of life in a better fashion and scientists don't accept reasons like "the bible says so".
    Right, which is why I used the qualifier, "canon" when referring to the principle. Another common term is Darwinian Fundamentalism. Much misinformation and ill-defined parts of the theory are accepted as "canonical" because of the religious zeal of Darwinists/acolytes of "scientism" which includes vast swaths of establishment society. Those acolytes harshly defend the perfection of Darwin's theory "as is", rather than admit to the flaws more modern thinkers accept as given, particularly when considering subjects like irreducible complexity.

    Now, can we keep away from the radioactive part of the topic and continue to discuss things like the study? I'm willing to keep mentioning said beliefs, particularly since one of my favorite books by Gould is The Mismeasure of Man, but I really prefer that we stay to the blue-sky issues.

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